Tuesday, October 30, 2012

You can't plan a life.

You just have to be there when it happens and roll with whatever punches it throws at you.

But you can plan your attitude, and create the most unbreakable one you can create.

All of my plans crumbled around me when my adviser rejected my thesis and therefore stopped me from graduating. The fairness of it all is now irrelevant. I'm here and I'll keep trying to make May work without a diploma. Sometimes all you can do is to have a specific direction in your mind of where you want to go. There are so many ways to end up at the same destination. The more specific and detailed your dream is, the smaller you are making your chance at happiness in relation to all of the possibilities there are in life. If you leave yourself with just one option, and this option breaks, then you are left with nothing.

These possibilities will always be there and there are things you can't plan for. But that's why life is exciting. That's what makes it an adventure.

The looser and more ready you are to adjust your sails, the more accepting you are of the wind's unpredictable nature, the more of these different possibilities (that all lead to the destination you desire) are easier to reach.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reference Point

'Kay so today I tried drawing again.


Mid-stroking I recalled a lesson I read on Tumblr about using drawing references properly. (While using images on Tumblr for reference. Can you see a pattern in my life here? Can you see how I've become this way???)

the cool illustration, if you're too lazy to read all of it, suggests that you must first:

  1. draw a thing without any references (in the example it's a shrimp)
  2. study reference pictures of the actual thing
  3. trace a reference picture of the thing (to make your hand get a feel of it, letting the body instruct the mind)
  4. draw it again using the picture as a reference
  5. draw it again in a different position than the reference
  6. draw the thing again without any references
  7. compare 1 & 7
The concept is simple. It's about teaching your mind, through your body, what it thinks it knows. Obviously I didn't really do that today, I just did number 4, which is what people usually do. That's because I didn't really get to revisit the illustration when i drew, i just felt inspired by the images I saw and wanted to put pencil to sketchpad and create something, even though it's technically just copying.

And then I also read back on entries in my other blogspot, relearned things I've forgotten that I've forgotten and relearned before (hence that blogpost that I just back-read) about viewing yourself like an observer of yourself to get a better grasp of, to put it bluntly, your jackass levels. How smartly or dumbly you're living your life. Etc etc.

When I read all of that, plus the other stuff, I kinda felt like I lost something when I moved to this blog. I think it comes from the intent behind this one. On that one, I acted as if I was just throwing thoughts into a void, and for this one, well, let's just say I'm older and know better than to write stuff that can be taken against me (just kidding. it's more about me having too many traumatic experiences relating to cringing at myself for writing some really dumb shit that I thought was smart at the time) and consider my audience a bit more, as little as its population may be.

...In the episode I'm at right now at Once Upon A Time, Emma's friend August tells her that when he gets writer's block, he likes to re-read what he's already done instead of "plowing through".. and sometimes, that's how he gets inspiration to write more.

How do all of these go together?

I think the fact that when I read back, I felt some longing for some level of freedom I had in writing when I was younger, allows me to get some inspiration to back up what I know now. I can combine the best stuff of both worlds now that I have an overview. Who says I have to choose between two styles? Writing styles don't come in complete sets. The parts are interchangeable.

I look back at my life and I see that I've always tried to be better. I know that I've been expecting some kind of end point to this, a point where I can stop changing and say that I'm glad about who I am, but I'm beginning to think that it will just slow down as I get a better grasp of myself. It will never stop, nor do I want it to! I enjoy going back to correct myself.

I'm at a point where I'm learning structure. How people expect things to work. And I don't think I'm selling my soul to the system in doing this. I'm simply getting an overview. A reference point. Like the same stage I am at in drawing. From copying things better, I will slowly learn how to caricaturise, to stylize, and to paint the way I want to. Maybe I can even create faces I've never seen before.

It's rough and it's tough and I feel like I'm at the bottom of the food chain right now in life. Financially dependent, jobless, can't even graduate yet...

But I'm glad my pride is broken. I'm glad I have nothing to lose anymore. Because I want to be humble, I want to ask, I want to wonder, I want to be taught and I want to learn.

Jeez. Wasn't that intense. I should go back and finish this episode now, I kinda stopped in the middle of Rumpelstiltskin bein a jerky jerk all drunk with power when it was still new. 'Tah.

PS: I tried makeup today and this is what I ended up with:

Yay I'm finally looking like how a normal person should look like when they wear makeup

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Smitten by Storybrooke

Currently in the middle of watching the first season of Once Upon A Time. Amazing, this show; and I love the feeling it evokes in me. It allows me to be engaged in a fairy tale without compromising with too much suspension of disbelief.

To those of you who don't know it, Once Upon A Time is a TV series revolving around inhabitants of Storybrooke, who are apparently people from the land of fairy tales that have been transported to the real world by a curse made by the evil queen. Because apparently our real life to them is the equivalent of hell to us. Which is a bit depressing, but bear with me. In this alternate fairy tale land, all of the fairy tale characters we know used to exist in the same dimension and their kingdoms come together in a single episode every now and then. It's one congruent universe, just in a fairy tale dimension.

Particularly, it revolves around Emma Swan, who is Snow White's (now named Mary Margaret as her earth self) daughter, and the only one who can break the spell. Rumpelstiltskin assigned this to her while Snow was still pregnant with her because apparently in the world of fairy tales, all curses should have a way to be broken! I didn't know this, but it's interesting and sure makes sense in fairy tale logic (everything should have its fair price).

Anyway at the start of the story, Henry, who is Emma's son that she gave up as a teen, comes to her informing her of the curse, and keeps insisting that she break it. Emma is won over by the child despite not really completely believing the story. Henry has been adopted by Regina, the earth version of the evil queen. She is the only one apart from Henry that knows about Storybrooke's past. Everyone else had forgotten their pasts.

I love how detailed the story was made. They stitched up a completely new universe from patches of stories that had always been there, which is a different realm from the talented genius behind completely-fabricated universes like the Dr.Who universe and the Harry Potter universe. The appeal here is that it taps onto something very familiar when you see it, and offers back stories and a wider grounding of all of these stories that we now realize we only know on the surface! Because of this I feel really excited whenever I start a new episode. I love learning about the made-up back story of a new character on each one because they make so much more sense and are so much more interesting and relatable.

I love when people give things a new life. It's like they're completely different characters to me now. For one thing, I love Rumpelstiltskin in this series even though I always hated the idea of him before. Robert Carlyle is so fucking excellent in this series, and eerily transforms from ugly to handsome so effortlessly whenever a transition occurs in his character. If not for anything else, see this show for that.

I first caught one of the episodes on TV and immediately decided that I had to see it entirely. The one I caught was about Grumpy, who apparently used to be Dreamy in his first birth, before having his heart broken. I loved the eerie resemblance between Emma and Snow played by a "Ginnifer" and a "Jennifer" no less! (Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison) They're not even related! And of course I also loved Grumpy's story. After that I saw the one about Red Ridinghood (now Ruby in her earth life; and smoking hot)... And I'm just beyond happy now that I have a full season on my hard drive :)

This was a very wordy and all-over-the-place review and for that I apologize! But I have to go back to the show now!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Big Week

This week was jam packed. Bad stuff happened, bad feelings were gotten over, fears were conquered, good stuff happened, lots of time with family was spent, and lots of food was eaten.

note: i stole most of these pictures from abbie's and tita del's uploads because i couldn't be bothered to bring my camera on wednesday hehe. 

Sleepless and exhausted, I go to school to submit pending requirements in order to be able to complete my curriculum. Like how my best friend's laptop refused to burn my disc after I managed to finish editing my documentary the night before, shit hit the fan at the last minute when my printer refused to print the thesis I spent so much time on writing because the ink cartridge was refilled and HP is a royal asshole about these things. I dejectedly pack up to travel for more than three hours to print it expensively elsewhere, only to have the whole thing rejected anyway. I admit, I'm at fault for doing things too late. Long story short, my efforts were proved futile as my professor informed me that I will need two weeks' worth of revisions to make the paper suit his standards. I go to the head of academics and was relieved to be informed that I can enroll again for completion and won't have to repeat the whole course next year. Hope restored. My plans are ruined, but my goals are still reachable. In a zombie-like state I quietly accepted my fate and tried to just live on for the next day because I had a job interview lined up, and tried to sleep well.

I woke up very early, and left the house all dressed up and ready. I was looking forward to going to a real job interview, to feel in charge of my life and competent. But long story short, I didn't know enough about cars to even be able to google my way out of the final test I had to pass. So this job, which I felt at the time was my last saving grace, ended up not being for me in the end. It wasn't easy to swallow because I liked the place and already had two friends. Plus, there was free coffee, the commute from and to home was easy and stress-free, and the salary was competitive. It also didn't help to still have the weight of my thesis rejection pulling me down. When the time came to say goodnight to beardy, I was coping well considering everything, but I admitted to feeling very incompetent, stupid and hopeless. But I was very open to feeling better again and felt really excited about the next day because we were scheduled to have a buffet lunch event with my cousins, who I haven't seen in a while. Best of all, I found out that it was the girls around my age and Jaro who are coming to the lunch! Fun became a certainty.

As if life was making up for all of the bad feelings, Wednesday turned out actually being about 1000000x times better than I expected. The food was AMAZING and there was a huge sushi table (although I firmly believe I didn't eat enough sushi) and a huge dessert table and my cousins and I were feeling very hyper from all of the sugar.

abbie's plate. sushi gems
the dessert table

 We somehow found ourselves acting like jackasses posing like idiots for pictures and singing silly songs. IT. WAS. AMAZING.
amazing matcha cake
lalalala happeh famelleh. scuse my face
annoying people in the restroom with deplorable mirror picturetaking
jaro's humor is one of a kind. yes he meant all of it

 Even my uncle, aunt, and mom were in on the fun and we all really bonded and it was just amazing. It felt so nice to laugh at the silliest things. I love my family. I love food. I love hope.

CW from top: Jaro, Abbie, Thea, me, Cancan

Sometime during dessert I managed to convince everyone to go with Jaro and me to Alabang. The plan initially was that my mom, Jaro and I would leave the others in Makati after eating to gallivant around Alabang until my mom gets off from work to come home with us. But because October is usually holiday month, what with the day of the dead and sem breaks for students, somehow everyone was completely game and ready to leave and stay over!!! So we ended up ALL coming to Alabang to hang out and shop a little bit, and then we all went home to Laguna and had a nice sleepover! Unplanned get-togethers are THE BEST.
tita Del's paparazzo-skills at Alabang Town Center

The next day, it was my turn to spontaneously come over. I went with tita Del, Abbie, Cancan and Thea when they left to go home. I napped for most of the day and played with my nieces who I missed so freaking much.
During the night we had a going away party for Jeff, one of our cousins, who is leaving for Dubai on Sunday. Long story short I got really drunk and the grape flavoured hookah didn't help one bit. But yeah, so much fun was had and it was nice to spend time with the boys, feeling freed from my worries about school and work for a while. It's nice to sit down and have a drink without feeling like I'm wasting time I should be spending doing something important, because I was actually on break and not being irresponsible.

Friday (today)
Most of us woke up at noon because we slept in the morning. We had a huge banquet of a very random weird assortment of food for breakfast, as is usually the case, for some reason, after a night involving alcohol at tita Del's place. After nursing the bitter beginning of my hangover, I managed to enjoy food again and maybe ate too much. Hehe.
our spot at the cemetery
We went to the cemetery and then we went to Eastwood! It's rare to have everyone be so ready and available for such impromptu trips to everywhere. It's so nice! And so much good food!!! Cancan said I looked like I lost weight when we met on Wednesday, but right now I have a HUGE GUT in the place of the void caused by being too stressed to eat while handling my requirements. No regrets man. No regrets. Tomorrow I'm eating healthy again. :)

I loved having tester-smeared hands at the end of the day from shopping and looking for makeup, it felt symbolical almost. Testing stuff, not buying most of them, getting your hands dirty, but leaving a pretty mess where your mistakes were made, and coming home with what you needed anyway (which you wouldn't have realized without making the mess of mistakes!).

How I feel about all this can also be summed up by part of what I wrote on my tumblr on Wednesday:

"...i’ve felt bad these few days because 1) i still can’t graduate 2) didn’t get accepted in my first job interview ..but right now i’m reminded of how nice it is to still be a jobless student, to still be your parents’ kid, to have sem break and time to drink and have fun, to have sleepovers with your cousins, and to be given some fun-money when your mom drops you off at the mall so you can have some coffee or cheap trinkets if you like. i’ve always guilt-tripped myself about still being dependent at this age, but now that i can say i have experienced trying my best and it just didn’t really work for me yet, i can say “why not enjoy it while i’m still at this stage?” i’m not imposing anything on anyone, and i show my gratitude and love to my mom when i can. i really don’t have any pride left to defend, and i’m not putting up a front pretending i’m independent and my mom is neglectful. im still sending out CV’s, and fully dedicated to getting my prof to approve me. so why should i make myself suffer?
I may do it two years late, and not with flying colours, but I will graduate.
and hopefully earn a living eventually.
there might be visa problems and money problems and work problems and things might not work out as i’d like, like how it happened with everything lately. but i know i’ll be okay. cos i’m okay now. i was dragged all muddy across the proverbial mud of life in the span of a couple of months and here i am, feeling okay."

Gettin Hauly

Wow, this week had really been something! 

I will soon post a lengthier blogpost about all the stuff that happened. But right now here's a little taste of my week in the form of a mini-haul. It would also serve to get this out of the way because I don't want to get sidetracked when I talk about my week in the next post. Let's get the more superficial stuff out of the way.
 Monday I tried to get my thesis paper finally approved so I can get my diploma, but it got rejected. I coped by doing an impromptu visit to National Bookstore in Cubao to look at the Halloweenie stuff. I ended up buying a couple of cheap, cute stuff namely 1) a stick-on mustache set for Jaro 2) fake cobwebs and 3) a reallllyyy cheap wood assembly set of a t-rex. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw it. It's SOOO COOL and soo affordable (60php!) and when I started on the head and the spine I was so pleased to realize how big it was! What a steal!!!

I spent Monday and Tuesday night assembling it while getting over not only a thesis rejection but a job rejection as well (on Tuesday)... It worked, I'm honestly over it. Almost instantly in fact. I managed to not beat myself up about it by focusing on the t-rex while watching Once Upon A Time. It wasn't really that hard. First of all, now is the time to make mistakes, and none of them are irreversible. Second, the days that followed were FREAKIN EPIC.

Me with Jaro's cap and stick-on mustache (not stuck, just physics)
On Wednesday we went to a buffet lunch at Shangrila Makati (sushi craving had finally been satiated..kinda) and went to Alabang afterwards, where we visited the always-ossum store Artwork.  I spotted this trucker cap with the Cake logo and immediately let Jaro try it on. Jaro and I LOVE that band. It was a very pleasant surprise to see any sort of Cake-related merchandise though, they're not that big in the Philippines. More reasons to love Artwork. Plus, it was really cheap! Probably not legit Cake merch, but still cool-lookin. You can barely see it in this picture but take my word for it.
I also bought this really comfy sleeveless shirt! Wore it for like, three days. HAHAHAHA.
It's so amazing how affordable some awesome stuff are. It's easily one of my favorite things about living in this country. It's my official Halloween shirt.
CW from top-left: Shaky eyeliner job; new sunnies; Ever Bilena matte lipstick in Siennas; my complete haul for today
Today we went to Eastwood after going to the cemetery. I was looking for new sunglasses to replace the ones I lost. I have others but I sincerely feel like a tool when I wear them, I needed one that suited my face. The pair I lost was square-shaped. It bewildered me how much they suited my face because I always believed that I have a square face and I always read that round glasses suit square faces while square glasses suited round faces. As a result I subconsciously believed that those glasses I lost somehow had a special shape to them that will be difficult to duplicate so it was really sad when I suddenly couldn't find them one day.

But recently, I realized that my face actually counts as round because of the wideness of my cheekbones compared to my chin. I don't know why I didn't put two and two together even after noticing that round shape glasses make me look really odd in a bad way. Anyway, I found square pairs that looked really awesome on me but didn't ask for them because they were too expensive. My mom took her time choosing clothes in Bayo while I just walked around and around the store trying to stave off boredom. At the very last second, I found the place where they stored the sunnies. They weren't easy to try on, they had cardboard tags on them wrapped up around the middle so you couldn't really wear them, except for one pair, which looked the most unique and pretty. And somehow it was also the cheapest one. So I tried it on, and it looked nice. I asked my mom's opinion and she agreed. She asked me if I wanted it. At first I was going to put it back because I really wanted square frames, but at the last second I decided that they will do. And I'm really glad because they quickly grew on me and they came with a really nice sturdy zip up case! At 295php, that's really not bad.

Abbie, Cancan and I went to Watson's to look for makeup afterwards. I was initially looking for good quality liquid liner from Etude House, like the one Abbie has because she said it was really good, and the bottle is a lot bigger than the regular one. The Eastwood branch didn't carry it though, and then Abbie had this genius idea to go to Watson's instead of specialty stores that offer less choices for higher prices. I ended up getting a couple of cheap-but-great stuff from Ever Bilena. The tester blew me away and it wasn't more expensive than my old one. I was willing to pay double for better quality so this was a really good deal. I also got a really nice shade of matte lipstick called Siennas which looks like burnt sienna as a stick but on my lips it just looks "bitten", which was what I was looking for. It doesn't translate well in the picture, but yeah.

Then I found a really cool aquamarine nail polish which only set me back by 18 pesos :3 It was great to go to Watson's. I think I would have spent 98 on a Face Shop one because I've been craving for new nail polish lately. This was a much safer way to satiate it.

So there! I hope you enjoyed me being really really girly over makeup and clothes and stuff blergh (it's a side of me I'm trying to be more accepting towards)

Story of my week to follow xoxo

Monday, October 15, 2012

Little things

Inspired by Naomi's "Life according to pictures" posts, i just wanted to photoblog some random things.

That mostly distract me from my work, but...
I like that I find the simplest things amusing

drew a glowing city by a body of water on my left hand..
And drew a skull with my left hand (it's not great but i drew with  my left hand so im proud of it anyway)

Circadian cycle with a little paper clock. I wanted to see if they were accurate based on whatever time I wake up hihi.

my faaaavorite mug ever. i broke it, so i repurposed it as a makeup brush holder :) now i can display my makeup brushes :)

Used loo roll cardboards as hairbrush/comb holders. I used a string i got from a bathset we bought .. and oh check out my vintage polly pocket it's the very first one i ever got! (i had three of them in total)

and i used the basket from the bathset to hold my toothbrushing/face washing stuff on my toilet, it's really nice cos i always  found the rounded surface to be problematic and not very stable.

Showing off lipstick and nail color for beardy (not very efficiently)

mix milk mini cake. i loved them. very satisfying for a grocery store kind.

my lamp pixie with her halloween costume on

neglected school work i'm trying to stop ignoring

pumpkin spice latte! it's nice , but took too much effort for three cups of coffee! perfect activity for slower days i guess.
my pretty dead bugs collection gaining a new member. i don't know what this bug is called.

my cat pins on the same shell i use as a paper weight
I hope everyone's having a lovely day/week... I'm very late in my progress at school but I'm still completely hoping I get 'er done. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Redirect, redirect.

One lesson I've decided to take into heart recently is to not be too hard on myself about plans unmet and to be zealous instead at re-planning based on daily assessments and developments in my work. Taking what is as it is. No mourning allowed. Energy that I don't want to spend mourning would stay clear off the "negative emotions zone" better if I spend it on something else, and the most useful thing to spend it on is re-orienting my intention into new plans.
Basically I'm recycling the tension, transforming it into motivation. Distress to Eustress.
The problem with plans for me is that I can't plan too far ahead lest the often-inevitable scenario wherein I lose interest in what past me wanted to happen and completely avoid the goal. I have a bad case of the floating world complex, as you may call it.
This coming week I decided to condense goals into one or two a day, and moved my deadline farther to accommodate such a feat. I'm nearing the actual deadlines too much so i only stretched so far as to have a few days before the actual deadline for possible corrections and follow-ups.
If this technique works, then it would mean that I have found the correct pace for me. I usually try to jam so many stuff into the span of one day, seemingly momentarily, repeatedly oblivious to the fact that although there may be 16 waking hours of life every day, I never have 16 hours of focus.
On Friday night, it was caused by another experiment that failed. The concept of me planning only for the next day and not beyond, to avoid the aforementioned dissonance in intention between present me and future me. I listed three goals and respective times for beginning and ending, stressing out Saturday self, making her nap and stall compulsively. It was not pretty.
On the downside of the upside, I don't have even that much money and I do not reside in the US.
On the upside of the downside of the upside, I learned a lot of new, very useful information about computer specs, reviewed some grade school math, and talked to precious friends.
To be completely fair though, it might have worked if the three goals were small ones instead of humongous ones which involved an invisible roaring beast fan in my laptop which bared its fangs whenever I attempted to progress.
So, TL;DR:
Failed: Big numerous goals in rigid day-long timeline.
Testing: One big goal (or small numerous goals) each day for the week + space (read: day/s not hour/s) for corrections and unexpected stuff.

Also, I have to get my laptop repaired, but can't yet because I'm using it.

Also, calm your tits, look ahead, keep trying.
Also, I probably shouldn't think too much about my sleep schedule. I bet it's counter-productive. Times wherein I successfully slept during normal person hours came from me not giving a rabbit's butt and just going about my day as if sleep will fall into place wherever and it doesn't matter. It's 5:50 AM, yes, but I'm going to sleep soon-ish, have an activity set for the day, and will probably fall asleep earlyish-like. But if not, that's okay too.
Let the subconscious handle the sleeps, make the conscious focus on the tasks.

Thinking Throne

I've always read people say that they think better in the shower.

I found myself nodding in agreement, but if I'll be completely honest with myself, it's truer for me while i'm on the toilet...

Am I the only one who's like this? Chances are no, but it would be a relief (nudge nudge) to have someone actually confirm it instead of me assuming and inevitably doubting my judgement as I usually do. Obviously the artist of this beautiful piece feels the same way, but well, I mean... He's kind of my brother.

start parenthesis/

BTW thank you to Jaro for the image. Used without permission. What can I say. That's what big sisters are for.

/end parenthesis

Just minutes ago I was on the *ehem* think throne and was having an epiphany or something. And as always, after the deed is done and I've flushed and exited, most of the thoughts get somewhat flushed down the toilet, along with my lunch.

I think it's got something to do with my surroundings blocking the ideas. As soon as I exit my bathroom I'm met with dozens of things to do inside my room. There's papers on the floor, the printer and my dying laptop, some dirty mugs or saucers, a guitar, ... you get the idea.

I keep hopping from one idea to the next.

I wouldn't be so sad if I always get to replace the ideas with better ones or ones that are just as good, but unfortunately, I don't get the same feeling of brilliance that I do when I come up with things while on the toilet. It's kind of the reason why I use my bathroom wall tiles as a whiteboard. It's a useful idea board because going to the toilet makes me think.

Maybe it's somehow sensory-ly UNDERwhelming to be on the toilet? Stuck there until the poop's been a-poopened? Gretchen Rubin talks about this technique in her book where she "imprisons" herself to her desk when she needs to get work done. She makes herself believe that she can't go anywhere else until it's finished. Maybe the fact that when you poop, you're pinned to the seat until you finish (unless you're THAT much of a nonconformist) builds a vacuum of activity or sensory absorption that lets new thoughts come through?

PS: Concept for this post had came to me -you guessed it- while I was on the toilet.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Be Bea"

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin utilizes one commandment of hers in particular very often:

"Be Gretchen"

She talks about how "you can change what you do, but you can't change what you like to do" and "just because it's fun for someone else doesn't mean it will be fun for me"..

Now when I first encountered this commandment in the book, I have to admit that it just flew over my head. Everyone's so used to hearing "be yourself" and it didn't register to me how this could mean something different.

But as I read through the book, understood Gretchen's personality more, I began to understand how she uses this saying in a way that's actually novel.

One day as I was waiting for Jessica to come join me for an interview, I sat down with the book, and got to thinking about my own journey in knowing myself. I put the book down and asked... "What does it mean to be Bea?"

Being myself under the domain of "be yourself" is easier to imagine: it's the absence of pretense, the absence of having to act differently than what is natural. But being myself in the context of "being Bea" I found, quite surprisingly, to call for something else:

It means knowing my particular interests and limitations in a less compromising way. It deals more with decision-making in matters that affect the way I spend my time than simply confidence in carrying myself around people.

What am I naturally interested in? Without calculating it against what's "best" or "smarter" or more "efficient"?

I have a very adaptable nature, and through the years I can really see how much I've grown away from what was natural to me towards what I found to be ideal. And I'm happy about the changes I've been through. I'm happy with the direction I'm going. So there definitely is room for compromise here. A harmony to be made between who you are and who you want to be.

There is also a lot of room for paradigm-changing. When I was younger, I really couldn't care less about current events or anything that involved numbers. I was in my own world, feeling comfortably detached from the rest of society. As I grew older, I began to see the significance and importance of webbing myself into the tactile world around me instead of making my own rules all the time. I found that knowing my place in this made-up world gives me more direction. It roots me with the needs of people, and connects me to what's in them that isn't in me so that I may be able to relate to them more. As soon as I saw news and money as being about people instead of about made-up powers and numbers, it started being more interesting to me. I still have problems with the formal terminology and whatnot, and still find a lot of things about them boring, but I'm more open to the whole thing now than I've ever been, and although on the surface it may look like a step away from my nature, it actually brings me closer to being able to use it in a way that makes a difference.

However I did notice that there are a couple of things that I've drifted away from under the pretense of growing out of them, even though that now that this whole concept has come to my attention, I look at them openly and realize that I'm still interested in them. I'm interested in clothes, for example, in make up, and dancing. I'm interested in people who are strange and outgoing. I love knowing all kinds of people, not just the ones that make big ripples in history, but anyone who has paved their own way, however small. Just because I won't want to be like them doesn't mean I don't like them. I'm a silly person, and I like silly things. I just didn't "see the point" in some of them anymore, but now I see that that doesn't necessarily matter, so long as I like them.

There is still some road to be covered in learning which things I like to do vs. things I only like the idea of doing. But I'm still young. I'm slowly learning and accepting things that aren't as fluid in me as the rest of me. I may be very fluid but everyone, including myself, have certain polestars in their personalities that will relatively stay the same (even though I know some people who vehemently assert that they're completely fluid; which shows a lot of what their polestars are, really.)... So far I've learned that I'm more introverted than extroverted, and that my feelings tend to get the best of me (a part of my nature that is already largely being regulated by what I nurture in myself, thank god) and I'm the kind of person who likes to try stuff on. Clothes, personalities, skills... This may be part of why I find it hard to identify myself. I tend to be the butter and not the bread. But things are changing in how I see things, and when I was sitting there at the coffeeshop waiting for Jessica, I imagined myself as an old lady sitting on one of the seats in a few decades, and for the first time I could imagine myself being content. I could imagine myself already knowing which routes I like taking, how I like my coffee best... I can imagine myself settling into something that's mine. Seeing my life, knowing that this is my husband, these are my kids, this is my home, this is my expertise, and recognizing myself in all of it. Actually settling and being happy about it.

I have to keep doing this thinking exercise if it will ever make a difference, because I do want to change the way I habitually think, and that's something that needs to be tackled on the subconscious level. So I'm summing up some guide questions for myself to make it easier in the future:

To be Bea, Bea must seek what it is to be Bea.

Questions to ask myself...:

  1. in social situations: What feels natural to do if I wasn't afraid? What's the way to react to this situation which will leave me feeling most comfortable, but also less troubled afterwards? Negotiate between the introvert and the opinionated justice-leaguer inside. Calm and assertive. Cesar style.
  2. in choosing an activity: Do I actually find this fun? Ask yourself what Gretchen would. Do I look forward to it? Enjoy doing it, and feel revitalized and not guilty afterwards?
  3. in framing your mind towards knowing what you like and don't like: Without looking at anyone else's feelings about it, do I like it? According to my own judgement and feelings? Does it make my eyes sparkle? Does it make me yearn for more? Is there a way for me to see this thing differently (if it's something "boring" but I find useful/beneficial to my greater good) ?
In the end I'm very lucky that I am able to be sincerely interested in a wide variety of things. At least compared to Gretchen. I can find enjoyment in most things. The problem is that there's so much to choose from and I usually end up staying in the sidelines watching the interesting stuff happen instead of collaborating in the world's beautiful madness. I still have this aversion to doing anything that's actually beneficial afterwards. I'm not sure why. But that's another story!

At the start I didn't pay much attention to this commandment, partly because I can't really take "Be Bea" seriously because of how funny the two words sound together. They sound redundant."Be Gretchen" sounds like something you can trademark, or use as a catchphrase for a TV show. But "Be Bea"? Too silly. But in the end I realized, so am I! Maybe that's the point.